We’re off to our trip to New York City this month and I want to share some little tidbits I picked up that may help on your own trip. Hope you enjoy! (Also, I’ll be away for a few weeks traveling and seeing family during the holidays so I apologize in advanced if I don’t update the blog in a while)
This is a good tip for any city, but it’s especially important for New York City. Dragging your baggage along the streets is both impractical and awkward. And as much as it annoys you, it annoys your fellow sidewalk stompers even more. But if you can’t avoid bringing a few bags, find a luggage storage service for the day while you see the sights.
If New York City traffic is its own kind of purgatory, New York City parking is its own circle of hell. Fortunately, there’s no reason you need to drive. NYC has a world-renowned transit system, and the many of places you want to see in Manhattan are probably within walking distance of one another. Brave visitors can even rent a Citi Bike and play real-life Frogger in the city streets. But if you absolutely must drive, bring as much patience as you can carry.
Everything is more expensive
New York lives in its own kind of hyper-inflation bubble. Anything related to food or entertainment will be significantly more expensive within the city limits, and the same goes double for Manhattan. Expect to spend around $15 on a drink, $200 on a nice dinner for two, and $50 on daily parking. And heaven help you if you smoke: at last check, a pack of Marlbaros will set you back around $12.
People move fast
If you’re from the East Coast, the frenetic pace of NYC is probably nothing new to you. But if you’re from further away, especially the West Coast or the South, you might find that things move uncomfortably fast. People are always in a hurry to get somewhere, and they don’t appreciate people holding them up. Stopping in the middle of a busy sidewalk will earn you some serious shade, and cashiers will probably respond to any attempts at conversation with curt replies and cursory smiles. Try not to be offended; it’s just the way people are around here. We don’t mean it personally.
Panhandlers are creative
Professional panhandlers seem to have a sixth sense for out-of-towners. You’ll probably get approached by at least one person with a tear-jerking story about how they need bus fare to visit their dying granny, but they don’t have any money since they just got out of jail/the hospital/the army so they just need $2 for the ticket to Albany or whatever. It’s a personal choice, of course, but brushing off those folks without engaging is a skill you may want to acquire, lest you find yourself giving someone money just to make them go away. A simple “sorry, I can’t” with a firm head shake is all you need. Save your money for street musicians.
There’s always something to do
New York City never sleeps, and if you want to experience everything the city has to offer, neither will you. There’s always something to do, no matter where you are or what night of the week it is. You can keep on top of the city’s hectic social calendar with websites and magazines like Time Out New York, Thrillist, and doNYC.